Second of all: basics and caveats. N=40. All numbers were self-reported, and varied, according to those surveyed, between to-the-penny accounting and vast generalizations. Most, but not all of those surveyed are US citizens, and numbers were given in (or converted to) US Dollars. No data was collected on reporters’ incomes, ages, educational status or profession, all of which would have been interesting and worthwhile and useful additions, but I didn’t think y’all would share that data with an internet stranger (except for a few of you helpers, who gave me a few clues about that stuff; sorry I couldn’t use it).
Okey-dokey, gals, as promised, I got your digits (no, not those digits) and did some basic statisticky ju-ju with them. I don’t want to just paste up my Excel spreadsheet (although I could email it to you if you really wanted it, with names/avatars redacted, if anyone is a stats whiz and interested in stuff I am unqualified to do), so here are the basics:
The lowest reported sum total (for hair, makeup, hair removal, appliances, other products and services) was $50, the highest was $3780, making quite a broad range of $3730.
The average or mean was [$31,956.98/40] or $798.92. Yipes. That seems like a lot.
The median (number smack dab in the middle of the range) was $613.
There were three modes (the amount “most often occuring”): $50, $660, and $845. Each of these occured twice, which is hardly overwhelming. Modes aren’t terribly helpful here…
However, out of 40
3 of you, or 7.5%, spend < $100
14 of you, or 35%, spend between $101-500
14 of you, or 35%, spend between $501-1000
5 of you, or 12.5%, spend between $1001-2000
1 of you, or 2.5%, spends between $2001-3000
2 of you, or 5%, spend > $3000
So, we can fairly surmise that the majority of harpies–70%–spend between $101 and $1000 per annum on beauty costs. Those numbers fit with both the mean and the median.
As to what sucks up all of those HarpyBuxx (they’re not just good for abortions anymore!): our lovely, lovely tresses: 43% of expenditures go towards hair cuts, coloring, or other services. Make-up takes up another 29%. The rest:
Hair removal: 8%
Other products: 7%
This is fairly representative, I think, although there are some variances, I know, in where some people slotted certain things: is sunscreen a cosmetic, or an “other” purchase? Different reporters indicated different things. What about cotton pads used for removing nail polish: under “nails,” or “appliances”?
(I made a graph, but I’ll be damned if I can get it out of Excel and into this blog. I’ll work on it getting it up when I’ve got the time).
Anyway, that’s what we’ve been spending. It’s worth looking at the numbers as-is, so we can see what beauty is really costing us, in dollar amounts. (I don’t think we can do a spreadsheet on what it’s costing us in terms of mental and physical health.) In the next installment, I’m going to think about what else you might do with that money.
A number of you expressed surprise at your spending, comparing it to X months of rent or groceries. It does add up: what else you might spend $613, or even nearly $800 a year on?